Bursting with two fully equipped dance studios and a philosophy of noncompetitive learning, Dance Center of LaGrange brings skilled teachers and a miscellany of dance types to the feet of dancers both young and old. Tykes can twirl toward the 45–60 minute summer-session classes to introduce tentative toes to preballet and creative movement (ages 3–4), learning new moves and gaining confidence while composing a rhythmic symphony with their 10-toed orchestra. The Storycise class (ages 3–5) combines storytelling and exercise to produce a hybrid fitness adventure filled with heart-pumping moves and poses that spell entire novel chapters. Teens can hit up the modern/jazz class for a medley of Broadway-style shimmying, and grown-up steppers can twist into adult tap, lacing up specialty shoes to conquer rapid routines and drum out grocery lists onto the hardwood floor.
Celebrity Dance Studio’s instructors boast impressive resumés that include years of instructor experience and multiple competitions. At Celebrity, they teach a wide variety of dance styles such as cha-cha, salsa, swing, waltz, tango, and hip-hop to name a few. They lead private and group lessons for people of all ages and skill levels, from absolute beginners to hobbyists with an interest in competing.
Though it may have changed names, owners, and locations, the Southwest School of Dance has remained true to its core philosophy since it was founded in 1974. Whether teaching classes in ballet, hip-hop, or mommy-and-me yoga, Southwest's instructors always prioritize the development of character and self-esteem alongside physical skills.
Russian-ballet instructor Susan Stantefort originally opened the studio as Susan's School of Dance in South Holland, where she taught students for 13 years. When she, like aspiring actor Abraham Lincoln, moved from Illinois to California, she left her former student, Denny Gurley, in charge of the studio. Gurley moved the studio to its current Orland Hills location, renamed it, and helped transition it to the leadership of current director Connie Cogan, also known as Dr. Danz.
The wall decals at Simpoley Dance act as visual reminders of the studio's sassy, supportive atmosphere, catching the eye with taglines such as "You look absolutely gorgeous!" and "My other ride is a pole." Between these slogans, students rehearse giddy spins and limb-lengthening stretches, treating the pole as a simultaneous dance partner and workout tool. The studio's instructors host 60-minute Taste of Pole classes for beginners and 90-minute standard pole lessons, as well as advanced seminars for those who really know how up differs from down. During private parties, they guide groups through choreographed routines that incorporate colorful feather boas. They're quick to espouse the health benefits of their art, which tones physiques and builds strength by using the body itself as resistance. For a more grounded but equally rhythmic class, they also showcase the cardio dance steps of Zumba.
Though its exhibitions often focus on the visual arts, Rumble Arts Center's educational programs encourage creativity in all its forms. Artistic inspiration may manifest in capoeira dance classes, or amateur painting sessions where students sip glasses of self-brought wine. Visitors may also discover an interest in digital media, or make use of the open art studio. The nonprofit welcomes creative community endeavors of all kinds into its spaces, whether it's a donation-driven market, a DJ dance party, or a theatrical performance protesting the cancellation of Frasier. Additionally, the organization works to offer a range of free programs to children and adults from the local community.
Dance Academy of Salsa's experienced instructors, including founder Miguel Mendez, lead students through salsa fundamentals and calorie-incinerating Zumba dance-workout sessions. During the salsa sessions tailored to all levels, dancers will begin with basic steps, progressing to incorporate turns and partner work once ladies learn to follow, men learn to lead, and hips learn to be honest. Partners may rotate to keep sessions entertaining and encourage fresh foot flirtations. In the Zumba classes, an energetic instructor leads students of all fitness levels through easy-to-follow dance moves set to Latin beats. The fat-busting routines alternate fast and slow rhythms with resistance training to help dancers to tone and sculpt muscles while adding to their repertoire of shakes, shimmies, and rhythmic shoelace knotting. Click here for a schedule of salsa and Zumba classes held throughout the week in Dance Academy of Salsa's mirrored and spacious studio and to explore different options for redeeming your Groupon.
Rachel Ladd was born to move. The former dance major started strutting her stuff on the ballet and tap floors at the tender age of 2, and by the time she got to the kinetic classrooms of Columbia College Chicago, she'd already garnered experience teaching jazz, tap, and ballet for all levels. When injury diverted her from the dance floor, a series of acupuncture and massage treatments ignited a new interest in holistic wellness that led her to seek certification in everything from massage and reiki to Pilates, sports nutrition, and Zumba. Today, she and her instructors lead classes that she hopes will inspire students to respect and care for their own bodies, sharing the physical and mental benefits of yoga with everyone from pregnant mothers and kids to consummate athletes and the stiff cats lounging in Chicago's back alleys. Styles ranging from Vinyasa and Forrest yoga to Hatha yoga for beginners comprise the studio's schedule, which boasts classes every day of the week.